Knicks top Forbes list as most valuable NBA franchise for third straight year

Updated: December 6, 2007, 8:02 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks' struggles on and off the court didn't keep the team from remaining the NBA's most valuable franchise for the third straight year, according to a list compiled by Forbes.

The Knicks were valued at $604 million, up 3 percent from the previous year despite a spate of losing, an embarrassing defeat in a sexual harassment lawsuit, and continuing questions about the future of coach Isiah Thomas.

The NBA's marquee franchise also had a league-high $196 million in revenues for the 2006-07 season while topping the list with negative $42.2 million in operating income after going 33-49 and missing the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Lakers decreased in value 2 percent, down to $560 from $568 million, but remained second on the list. The Chicago Bulls were third with a value of $500 million and a league-best $59.3 million in operating income. Detroit and Houston rounded out the top five.

The Cleveland Cavaliers showed the biggest jump in value among the top 10 teams, increasing 20 percent to $455 million. They jumped from 10th to seventh.

The Dallas Mavericks, who were third on last year's list after a 15 percent hike in value following their first NBA finals appearance, dropped to sixth. Phoenix, Miami and San Antonio completed the top 10.

Even at the top of the NBA heap, the Knicks wouldn't crack the top 10 in the NFL, where the No. 1 Cowboys were valued at $1.5 billion and the No. 10 Jets came in at $967 million, according to the list of NFL franchises Forbes released in September.

The complete list of NBA franchises will appear on the magazine's Web site, Forbes.com.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press